Top Travel Resolutions for 2019 (and a Bit of Blogging Too)
Why hello there, 2019! How did you pop round so quickly? I’m not sure I’ve got my ducks in a row for you just yet. I bought my 2019 diary yesterday. Thankfully, we’ve got this little thing called Twixmas (those lazy in-between days from Christmas to New Year), which not only allows me to eat my weight in cheese and watch too many cheesy films, but to also look back on an incredible year of travel and look ahead and cook up exciting plans, adventures and goals for 2019.
Before writing this post, I read through the intentions I set for 2018 and I was overjoyed to find that I’ve achieved most of my goals. It looks like I do commit to my resolutions post-the-January-buzz after all. Or maybe the pressure of making myself accountable to the entire interwebs helped push me along.
Either way, here I am again, setting some fresh (mostly travel) intentions for 2019, to fill the new year with just a few of my favourite things. Because I love nothing more than a blank life-slate to be coloured in with rich adventures, laughs and love, learning, moves outside my comfort zone and some movie-reel memories. Here goes everything.
1. Make my way to lesser-known parts of Europe: After a year spent away from the continent, I kind of started to miss it. All those unassuming outdoor cafés where you watch the world by go as you sip a pitch-black coffee that leaves you buzzing for hours. Where, travelling solo, I imagine I’m sat at a bistro table right next to the Lost Generation talking shop in between cigarettes. And let’s not forget those cobblestoned alleyways, which you can never bloody find on Google Maps (and always get you lost) but you kind of love anyway.
And though I will never ever tire of a lush tropical isle, this year I’m ready for more of the above.
I’m particularly interested in exploring European cities that don’t get quite as much hype. Like Warsaw, which I’ve read is having a major resurgence, or Corsica, the French island that has yet to reach peak travel status - and just so happens to be where one of my besties will be getting married in July.
2. Go on a few solo weekend trips: Since I’m toying with the possibility of going back to full-time work in 2019 (rather than the freelancing I’ve been doing for the last few months), I’ll need to get a little more creative with my weekends, flying out on Friday nights and making the most of 48-hour getaways. Paris (as they say) is always a good idea and has a different vibe every season, so it’s top of the list. But I also haven’t been to Amsterdam in years. And I’m keen to explore Antwerp. Stockholm and Hamburg too. So I certainly won’t run low on options to keep me occupied during 2019’s bank holiday weekends.
3. Explore more of the UK: It’s only when you leave a place that you start to appreciate how much you like it and how much of it you have yet to see. See resolutions 1 and 2. And the same rings true for the UK. There is so much more I want to explore, especially now that I’ve discovered my love of hiking. I want to spend a long weekend in the Lake District and trek Snowden. I want to surf in Devon and Cornwall. And given how much I fell in love with both Glasgow and Isle of Skye a few years back, I want to travel through so much more of Scotland. St. Andrews looks stunning and the Orkney Islands look like the perfect place to switch off from it all. I probably won’t get to all of these next year, but I’ll certainly try my best.
4. Still squeeze in at least one backpacking adventure: What would The Beauty Backpacker be without at least one backpacking trip? Sure, I’ll have a home base in 2019 but my travels wouldn’t be complete without at least one faraway backpacking adventure. I’m not exactly sure where I’ll end up but anywhere rugged, tropical and new will do. I’m thinking Sri Lanka, the Azores or even heading back to the Philippines. Who wants in?
5. Share more about my favourite London haunts: Having spent nearly 12 years in London, living across postcodes that span the city East to West, I know the Big Smoke pretty well. But I’ve yet to really blog about it. And as a travel blogger I know how easy it is for non-locals to pitch all the hidden gems of a destination without really knowing much about it. Except, this time round, I really am a local that can offer up a million ways to enjoy one of the world’s most visited cities. So once I’m caught up on backpacking content, I want to write some interesting pieces about my beloved London and all the reasons why I’ve stuck around for so long.
6. Go to at least one music festival: I love a good festival. And I missed out on the experience all through my 20s. So I feel like I have a bit of making up to do. All those wasted years without that silly self-indulgence, head-to-toe glitter and drunken dancing in a field. Unfortunately, I didn’t wrangle tickets for Glasto 2019 but I do have my eye on a few other options. Wilderness is top of my list. Now I just need to convince my bestie to come along. Oh, and a full-time job to pay for tickets would help too.
7. Set and monitor clear goals for The Beauty Backpacker: When I started this site, I had no idea how things would go. Like most travel bloggers, it was originally just a way to capture my travels and share my adventures with family and friends. But I very quickly realised I rather enjoying all this writing (and filming) and that people were actually reading. So I started investing more of my time and energy into the site and creating content more consistently. And things have been going well. Really well. So this year I want to set some clear objectives and intentions for the blog. On everything from which creative elements I want to invest in to how much I want my stats to grow to which dream destinations I’d love to partner with. The clearer your vision, the easier it is to reach, and I have Big Dreams for this blog baby and beyond.
8. Establish a balance between work and blogging and life in general: I may have mentioned that I’m looking at full-time work again. But with that transition, I’m nervous about how I’ll strike a balance between committing to a new role, maintaining the blog and still managing to have a life outside of the two. Especially if I want to stay social, keep travelling and, you know, occasionally go on a date. I know this won’t be particularly easy, but this is my major ambition for the year ahead.
9. Start to pitch to brands: Admittedly, I haven’t had the guts to pitch to anyone just yet. Though my goal is to nail my first-ever collaboration with a beauty brand, travel agency and / or a dream destination. I’m a true believer that slow and steady wins the race, so I’m not particularly rushed about exactly when, but I also know that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. I’ve hesitated this last year because I’ve felt my numbers are too low, my audience too small and - quite frankly - that I needed to devote my energy into creating good content first. But now I feel ready to start putting the feelers out. Even if I get countless no’s, at least the universe will know what I’m after and that I’m working towards it, and provide it back in due course.
10. Hone my video skills: Now my YouTube channel is live (2018 goal nailed!), I’m really keen to start developing my video skills. Though I think my forte is the written word, I love how video captures the moment and memories in a way that no other medium can. I’m also a nerd - and basically love learning new things. So I’ve had a blast in 2018: trying to master the GoPro, learning to pan my Lumix camera, editing clips, experimenting with music and sound to create the right mood for every video and just generally just getting stuck into the world of film. Now I’m ready to refine my skills. First stop - a video conference for content creators in February!
11. Connect with more of the travel blogging community: As soon as I landed back in London, I had the fortune of connecting with travel bloggers straight away. The lovely Ellie from The Wandering Quinn was my first ever virtual connection turned IRL. And with it came the strong realisation that I could make friends with people who are equally as obsessed with travel and blogging. Then, I attended my first-ever blogger meet-up and before I knew it, I was signing up to Traverse’s social events, attending World Travel Market (the largest travel fair in the world), meeting my favourite bloggers face-to-face and embracing the community in full force. I’m signed up to two conferences in 2019, in Hamburg and Trentino, and I couldn’t be more excited. Here’s to connecting with more like-minded souls who will happily talk travel and blogging late into the night and willingly explore the world with me.
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